portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

forest defense | government

Update on Bush's unHealthy Forest Restoration Bill

Many of you have emailed and called us asking for an update on the status of Bush's insidious bill, and want to know when this bad legislation will finally receive a proper burial. The following is an update on where the bill currently stands.
On September 22nd, Senator Wyden (D-OR), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Lincoln (D-AR), and Senator Bacus (D-MT), Senator Craig (R-ID), Senator Kyl (R-AZ), Senator McCain (D-AZ), Senator Domenici (D-NM), Senator Crapo (R-ID), and Senator Cochran (R-MI) cut a deal on a new version of HR 1904.

Tom Daschle (D-SD), and Senator Johnson (D-SD) also endorsed the deal. Due to the fact that Senator Daschle decided to support the deal, many other moderate Republicans and pro-environment Senate Democrats believe that the deal is good. The problem is that the deal is worse than HR 1904, and will still fully implement President Bush's bill. The compromise language in the deal is controversial, confusing, and unclear from a legal standpoint. The new supposed old-growth protection language has loopholes that could actually increase logging in these stands, as well as in roadless areas. It places restrictions on project appeals and judicial review.

Senate leaders had planned to vote on the compromise bill this week (October 20), but Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., has stalled its consideration, asking for a hearing on the compromise measure or a full debate on the Senate floor! Bingaman has gone out on a limb to take a stand for OUR national forests and to protect OUR public lands.

"Last week, I asked for a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee," Bingaman said, "because this bill is very different from what the Senate Agricultural Committee approved a few months ago. I have questions about this plan, and I'd like to get answers to them before we have a full Senate vote on it."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is considering filing for cloture, which would open up 30 hours of debate if supporters can muster 60 votes. After that, another 30 hours of debate would be followed by a roll-call vote. GOP leaders had not made a decision on when to file for cloture as of today.

The delay has left proponents of H.R. 1904 anxious about the legislation's outcome given the ever-shrinking Senate calendar. Senators will go home by November 7th. Supporters of the bill believe they have the 60 votes necessary for cloture.

Bingaman needs our support as he is taking a lot of flack from the right. He would love to hear from you, and we'd appreciate it if you have the time to personally thank the Senator for helping to protect our forests.

Scott miller the forest Legislative Assistant, can be reached at 202-224-4103
You can call Jeff Bingaman's office toll free at 1-800-648-3516 OR 1-800-839-5276
Email the Senator at:  senator_bingaman@bingaman.senate.gov

Short suggested script:
" I'd like to thank Senator Bingaman for recognizing that Bush's "Healthy Forests and Restoration Act of 2003" (HR 1904) is a controversial bill that needs serious revisions, amendments, further study, and analysis. I appreciate him taking a stand for our national forests, and I support his efforts to protect OUR public lands."

For a fact sheet on HR 1904 click here. (go to  http://actionnetwork.org/BIODIVERSITY/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=2047799
for this pdf link to work for you)

To learn more about the following issues, go the links describing
forests:  http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/programs/forests/index.html
fires:  http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/programs/fire/index.html
ecosystem restoration:  http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/programs/restoration/index.html

homepage: homepage: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

The Democrats will sell you out in a heartbeat 27.Oct.2003 23:55


happy days are here again, indeed. ~5% of the nation's old growth is left and the pro-environment Democrats are "cutting a deal" that will cut down what's left. we saw this in the Clinton era with the salvage rider and we're seeing it again now. if you're serious about saving forests (and hence ourselves), then you can put no hope in Democrats and liberals. what's needed is a grassroots rebellion against this lawless logging, with protests, direct action, and whatever else will work. the "leaders" and executive directors won't help us here. we need to act ourselves.

i see here, http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/10/273018.shtml, that the Witness Against Lawless Logging campaign has been revived. this is one great way to fight here in Cascadia, where we stand to lose so much. from that post:

"Back to the WALL" is an all volunteer grassroots people's effort and is the revival of "WALL" (Witness Against Lawless Logging) which was organized by Joe Keating and the Oregon Wildlife Federation in 1994 as an answer to seeing our ancient trees succumb to the chain saw of the infamous 'Salvage Rider'.

Now, thanks to the Bush administration, the logging industrialists are back to pick up the few remaining pieces of our forests under the guise of forest fire prevention. They just don't understand that the few remaining groves of our ancient forest must be left alone. As usual, our legislators have failed to protect what is ours and offer us empty compromises that do little to protect our forests. Our children have a right to their heritage. "Back to the WALL" is dedicated to the premise that we can and will successfully defend our children's heritage.

We will fight nonviolently to save every square inch of our ancient forests!

"Back to the Wall" is currently developing strategies for 13 chapters across the state of Oregon. The goal of these chapters is to support each region in the state by busing members of the various chapters to areas that require a large presence and to bring concerned citizens together with forest activists in large numbers to support their efforts to save our forests.

This is the time that we all must dig in and increase our efforts to save our beautiful forests from destruction. "Back to the Wall" will take a variety of approaches to stop this destruction! Everything from appealing proposed timber sales, to civil disobedience, to letter writing campaigns, whatever the situation calls for and whatever each individual feels comfortable with that participates in a specific action.

To find out how more about getting involved with "Back to the Wall" contact the Portland chapter coordinators Steve or Cathy Geiger at 503-649-8493. Stay tuned for more details about upcoming actions and how you can make a difference in helping to protect our forests.

hey indymedia people -- feature this post and this info about Back to the Wall!

Back to the Wall! 28.Oct.2003 08:09


Three cheers for Joe and three cheers for grass roots "last line" efforts to save our forests.

The divide between "working class" people who care deeply about our forests and the forest activists themselves has existed for far to long!
This has been due in part, to the necessity of security cultures, but also because of the lack of a working mechanism to bring "like-minded" people together.

"Back to the Wall" provides an excellent vehicle to bring these people together (without pressure) for the purposes of providing the biggest presence possible to any given situation. Whether you want to come out and bear witness to the lawless logging that is taking place all over our state, or if you want to participate in direct actions, "Back to the Wall" will provide the opportunity for you to make a real difference.

"Back to the Wall" is now in it's early formulative stages as chapters all over the state have formed and are organizing to oppose the upcoming onslaught of our forests. Buses are also being organized as we speak and we hope to have a bus in every part of the state soon.

Back to the Wall demands no long term committment, only the desire to participate in actions when you can.
Some people might be able to go to an action on a Tuesday, others only on the weekend.
But if you get on our contact list, you can be notified of upcoming actions and where to board the bus.

We need to come together and reach out to each other if we are to stop their attempts to take what little they have not yet ravaged.